Aluminum prices fall on Ukraine jitters

Mar 03, 2014 | 04:33 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  Ukraine, Russia, Crimea, conflict, UC Rusal, Nikolaev, alumina refinery, Zaporozhye smelter

CHICAGO — The immediate impact of the movement of Russian troops into Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula may be investor risk aversion and a strong U.S. dollar, driving down aluminum prices, market sources said.

Uncertainty due to the crisis will lead to short-term knee-jerk selling of commodities and commodity-related stocks as investors seek safer places to park their money, market sources said.

That flight will probably drive up the value of the U.S. dollar, a development that could drive down aluminum prices on the London Metal Exchange, they said, although some argued that unrelated factors, such as continued declines in China’s purchasing managers’ index, also could account for a fall in aluminum prices.

The cash aluminum contract ended the LME’s official session March 3 at $1,674.50 per tonne (76 cents per pound), down 2.9 percent from $1,724 per tonne (78.2 cents per pound) on Feb. 28.....

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